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Being Human is a Spiritual Condition

October 28, 2013 at 11:21 PM

By Vicky Peters



Spirituality, for me, occurs anytime I feel truly connected. Brene Brown once said that connection is why we are here, we are neurologically wired for connection. Connection to our young/our offspring as animals. Connection to our homes and the places we live. Connection to food. Connection with our feelings and thoughts. Connection with each other. 

Yoga, in its simplest form, means union, or really, connection.

At times, in different yoga circles and articles, I have heard of a separation between yoga and spirituality, as if this distinction was a "good, clear, move." As if it made doing yoga easier. Yoga in America is mostly a physical practice, and there is an overflowing wealth of research all which supports the clinical physical benefits of yoga. The trend seemed to follow: Why bring in spirituality? It may complicate things? Yoga helps lower blood pressure, and calm the mind, we know this. There are clear clean spirituality free reasons to do yoga. Or are there?

To look at the physical benefits and say they are void of spirituality is in a sense looking at our body and saying that it is void of connection. A lot of western medicine does this. If part A is hurting, we only look at part A, and can forget that part A of our body is indeed connected to part B, and part C, and affects part D. 

Our human body is an amazingly awe inspiring elegant series of connections. We live in a world of connections, and in essence the mystery of life is not only a little spiritual at times, but in every way perhaps?

Any time we harness our breath to a movement, we are connecting, even just to our cells, we are in a moment full of spirit. It is amazing, We are an amazing set of connections occurring at all times. That a highly coordinated message from my brain is flowing through me as I type directing my fingers to the key board is amazing. Any time we connect to a song, a piece of music, as if we can feel the chords pulsing through our body, we are fully connected, and in spirit, with not only the music, the sound, but perhaps also the soul who created that beat and tempo.

This caution around spirituality may be simply that at times it has been linked to religions, or beliefs about the mysteries of life. These both serve a purpose for oh so many, myself included. I offer that embracing our spirit is a human right though, a human condition, any living being contains a spirit and is connected within the web of this world, this life.

At times disconnection does happen. At times I feel disconnected. I do not always feel like a beaming being, hardly. Even those moments of disconnect are full of connection and spirituality. Yoga is both fully those moments when we feel our best selves and when we feel our worst. I have a brave, joyous, loving spirit, and a fearful, sad, worry filled one at times. And both impact those around me, as well as myself. We are wired for connection. What kind of connection do we wish to see? Do we wish to mirror back and create? 

What we look for, is most likely what we see. I can choose to look for the moments of disconnect in yoga or life, and they do exist. I can also choose to look for the moments of connection, they too fully exist. Whichever lens I choose, I tend to see that shade. Human moments of goodness and full spirit and full connection are all around. 

The other day, I went to get wood. One worker on the lumber yard charged me $60. I (who know nothing about such) was happy to pay the $60, and fully believed I had received a good price. That worker then went home. As I left the owner asked me how much I was charged. I told him $60 and thanked him. He then, without knowing me, or ever meeting with the other worker, took out $40 from his own wallet, handed it to me and told me that I had been overcharged and that he wanted to set it right. I never would have known that I was over charged. I would have left happy for the wood. He took a moment to connect, to trust, to believe. 

Spirituality is as concrete and mysterious physical as our body system, and as emotional and loving as believing in each other for the good, and forgiving fully the "less than" moments, knowing we're all connected, we all have them, feel them, and fear them. 

Spirituality happens on my yoga mat, in meditation, moments with my pet or other animals, at a lumber yard, on the phone with a long lost friend, or alone, under the stars, simply knowing that we all are connected. 

I cannot imagine a yoga free of spirit, or a life free of such. Perhaps it is a choice to embrace our spirituality, or perhaps simply a choice to remove those fears which keep us from seeing such. As if our task is not to seek for love, but simply to remove the obstacles that keep us from feeling our love, our spirit, our connection, our yoga.  

there is an endless net of threads throughout
the universe . . .
 at every crossing of the threads there is
an indvidual.
and every individual is a crystal bead.
and every crystal bead reflects
not only light from every
other crystal in the net
but also every other reflection
throughout the entire universe.

-indra's net from the Rig Veda